I spent several hours on September 13, 2001 on FR posts smacking down this so-called conventional wisdom. On September 12, 2001, Ron Paul's ideological master -- the late Harry Browne -- wrote an editorial blaming America before the flames of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were out called "When will we learn?"
This was my response to Derville, a now-defunct Freeper, who echoed Browne's opinion that the USA should "mind its own business" and that it provoked the Pearl Harbor attack:
To: DervilleWe were effectively waging war against [Japan].Have you not heard of the Oil Embargo?
What about it?
Remember, we're talking about Browne suggesting that the USA should "prevent our leaders from ever again provoking this kind of anger against America." Honestly...do you see no difference between a foreign policy decision and actual death-dealing acts of military intervention, like in Serbia? It's laughable that you would consider an embargo an act of war. How many people did the oil embargo kill?
If we had every right to fight Saddam lest he control the free flow of oil,why were the Japanese not justified in their concerns?
The Japanese struck at the USA when it would not cooperate with their attempt to make Japan the power of Far East Asia and the Pacific (including Australia and New Zealand). Are you suggesting that it was the United States' obligation to sell fuel to the Japanese? Should Roosevelt have endorsed the Japanese version of "manifest destiny?" Would that have fit Browne's definition of "minding our own business?"
Sorry, it doesn't parallel. With Japan, the USA was controlling what it would do with its OWN oil. Saddam Hussein, fresh off a victory over the Iranians, invaded and possessed a sovereign nation for the sole purpose of increasing his influence as an oil broker. Our oil was ours. Saddam's oil was the Kuwaitis'.
The way the Japanese thought of it, they were going to build the third world power after Hitler and Mussolini got through with the UK, the USSR, and Africa. They would leave the USA in the middle between the Nazi-Fascists and themselves.
Now, you are free to suggest that had Hirohito and Hitler succeeded, with the US watching the action from the coasts, they would have been fat and happy with their own empires, and they would be content to watch the USA "mind its own business." I submit that there is no way you could possibly know for sure -- and that goes for all the Go-Pat-Gorillas too.
Who knows - perhaps one could argue that invasion and occupation of the United States was impossible. But the isolationist case in this day and age is even more ludicrous.
Provocation is an entirely different matter. Ron Paul NEVER stated that we “asked” for it. Strawman argument on your part.